The concept ‘change’ is essential in Niko Hendrickx’s work: it is both subject and method. And if change is the basis, the outcome can only be an eclectic oeuvre
A work of art is always the product of a creative process. Today a ‘good product’ is too often something with a fixed form and therefore easily recognized. Artists find a certain style and explore that style in-depth. They identify with that style and that form. In so doing, the artist ‘becomes’ the product, a view that Hendrickx rejects.
Hendrickx tries, time and time again, sometimes spontaneously, sometimes consciously, to find methods to create a work of art that is different from every previous one. Until recently he preferred making series, but 2016 was the turning point: he decided to stop creating series in order to further explore the concept ‘change’.
Contrary to the mainstream idea that the work of art is the product, Hendrickx believes that every work of art is a creative process in which change is the product. Focusing on a fixed form and/or style is then no longer of the essence for the artist; the focus is rather on the challenge to change them.
In Hendrickx’s philosophy making a link between the artist and his work becomes problematic: he identifies with change, rather than with the work of art as such. As a result his oeuvre can appear to be surrealistically impersonal, although it is truly and wholly ‘the artist’s’.
Holding on to something and trying to make it last is human and understandable, but, in Hendrickx’s vision, unnatural. He chooses not to step into the same river of his creative process twice.
Visual artist Niko Hendrickx never tires of looking at today’s constantly moving and irrepressibly evolving world. This constant evolution is the source of his creativity. He carefully observes social tendencies which arise and fade away at an alarming pace. In his art he interprets these trends, he analyses the ways in which people shape their daily realities and studies the impact of current events on people’s behaviour.
Change is an essential concept in Hendrickx’ art. They are both subject and method: besides recurring themes in his work they are the platform on which he develops his personal style. In a world that depicts itself in never ceasing change, and even forces itself upon us in chaotic diversity, the artist has no choice but to follow suit.
According to Hendrickx it does not make sense in this day and age to make purely traditional, static art. Amid today’s chaos and change, the artist cannot but stand and stare, search and doubt. His style must reflect, and simultaneously be part of, the world’s vitality and dynamism.
Hendrickx therefore chooses not to limit himself to one discipline. He prefers a multidisciplinary approach, combining traditional art forms such as painting and sculpture with new media, like video and 3D animation. He builds installations with robot sculptures, scale models and the Grim Reaper. He makes ‘layered’, ‘screen’, ‘frame’ and ‘duo’ paintings. He refuses to make definitive style choices; instead he would rather scour existing styles and –isms in order to create a radically eclectic oeuvre.
Hendrickx constantly experiments with the dynamic character of images. He designs a highly personal, partly virtual world, one in which the spectator comes face to face with contrasts of different kinds. In order to express his own views on relevant social themes, the artist creates a field of tension in which extremes interact. A work like Fantasy gives us more freedom to do what we want, an oil painting combined with video, makes the viewer aware of the difference between the typical fantasy of video games and that of man.
In his art Hendrickx consciously applies the diversity, doubt and uncertainty he experiences around him. With almost philosophical amazement about the world, he consistently proceeds in the exploration of his own artistic calling and creativity. He carefully and subtly expresses his creed as follows: ‘I hope I will never find what I’m looking for, for only then can I become part of a dynamic development’.
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